Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become a hugely popular form of transportation throughout New York. Hailed for being convenient, affordable and easy to arrange, rideshares are an alternative way to help people get quickly around town whenever they need it.
But just like all motorists, rideshare drivers are at risk of being involved in car accidents at some point during their lives. When these crashes cause serious injuries, it’s important to contact an experienced car accident attorney to protect your rights to compensation.
Handling a rideshare accident claim is not as simple as resolving a conventional car accident claim in New York. The devoted team of trial lawyers at Belluck & Fox can help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. You may be eligible to recover money to pay for medical bills, replace lost wages and account for property damage, among other losses.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
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Ridesharing applications like Uber and Lyft are also known as transportation network companies, or TNCs. These TNCs operate much like a traditional taxi service. But instead of having a centralized taxi company responsible for maintaining, labeling and insuring those vehicles and training their operators, rideshare drivers manage their work as if they are running their own business.
Simply put, each rideshare driver is an independent contractor who can turn on and off his or her ridesharing app at any time.
In New York City, there are TNC laws to control the operation of TNC vehicles and their use inside the city. These include:
- Age requirements: Uber and Lyft drivers must be at least 19 years of age.
- Licensure: Uber and Lyft drivers operating in NYC should have a New York driver’s license. For example, an out-of-state college student attending school in the city cannot keep their Iowa license and operate a Lyft inside the city limits.
- Taxi/Uber: A taxi cab cannot also be used for Uber or Lyft in New York City.
- Where Uber and Lyft can pick up: Rideshare companies cannot pick up in the New York City unless the driver is licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Rideshare drivers can still drop off riders in the city who were picked up elsewhere.
- Required insurance: In most parts of the country, rideshare companies are required to maintain certain amounts of liability coverage on their drivers while the vehicle is in-service. Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that cover up to $1.25 million in personal injuries in New York City.
After an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, there can be a lot of confusion and uncertainty. These accidents are generally a bit more complex than traditional auto accidents, mostly due to questions surrounding insurance coverage.
Follow these steps if you have been injured in a rideshare accident:
- Call 911. Report the accident and any injuries to the dispatcher. At a minimum, car accidents often involve at least some property damage. It will be important to have first responders at the accident location as soon as possible to provide medical treatment, transport the injured, manage traffic congestion and document the scene.
- Get medical treatment. Some car accident injuries do now show up right away. You should still contact your primary care physician for an appointment after the accident. Waiting too long to seek treatment could worsen your injuries.
- Follow medical advice. It’s also important to follow your doctor’s orders so that insurance companies don’t question the extent of your injuries.
- Keep all paperwork. A car accident is a physical event, but it’s also a legal event. Your health insurance company will be involved, your own car insurance company will be involved, your health providers will be involved, and in many cases, the other driver’s insurance carrier will be involved. Keep all medical records, receipts, police reports and other accident-related information.
- Talk to an experienced rideshare accident lawyer. It’s important to speak with a rideshare crash attorney as soon as possible following a wreck. Services like Uber and Lyft will have attorneys prepared to work on the case as soon as it is reported. Arrange a free consultation with a skilled attorney at Belluck & Fox to learn about your legal rights following the collision.
Rideshare accident lawyers are frequently asked about how to sue companies like Lyft and Uber for injuries. The truth is that you rarely will need to sue the actual rideshare companies in order to recover compensation.
Your claim will depend on who is responsible for the rideshare accident. There are three different ways that an Uber driver’s liability may result in payment to the victim.
- When the driver is on personal time: If the Uber driver was using the car for personal reasons, then their own personal car insurance policy will be responsible for defending their interests and paying the claim.
- When the driver is awaiting a ride: Once the rideshare driver is awaiting a fare, they are operating under a flag. This “holding” status means that the app is on, but there is no passenger. At this time, NYC Uber vehicles will be covered by up to $75,000 in liability insurance per injured person and up to $150,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident.
- When a passenger is riding: Once a passenger is in the rideshare vehicle, Uber liability insurance coverage will cover up to $1.25 million in injuries.
Call an Uber Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving an Uber, Lyft or other rideshare service in New York, the top-rated attorneys at Belluck & Fox will fight for your rights to compensation.
Contact us now to learn about your legal options.